The world has made it so easy for us to choose processed junk foods over nutritious foods. Chips and chocolates are on sale every week, there’s a drive-through on every corner and social events are centred around treat foods.
So how can you make it easier on yourself to make healthier choices when it comes to food? Here are 5 tips to get you started.
Prepare in advance
Many of us are time-poor, so a big factor with making healthier choices is making it quicker. One way to do this is to meal prep or ingredient prep.
Meal prepping is cooking the whole meal in advance, usually in batches. For example, on the weekend you might cook up 3 portions of fish and vegetables to take to work for lunches.
Ingredient prepping is preparing the ingredients so they are easier to cook or eat. You can slice up carrot and celery into sticks so you can snack on them or toss them on your plate as a side.
When there are healthy choices already in the fridge waiting for you, you’re more likely to eat them.
Stock up the freezer
Emergency days happen. You might run out of time to do the food shop for the week, or you might get home late after being stuck in traffic. This is where it’s good to have ‘emergency’ meal options in the freezer.
Some of my favourite options include SteamFresh fish fillets and Super Nature frozen meals.
By having these already at home, you’re less likely to order your go-to takeaway option on UberEats instead.
Don’t ditch, make a switch
When someone starts to focus on eating healthier, they often start off with restriction. They quit sugar, or cut carbs, or reduce fat. This usually includes removing foods that have been part of their eating pattern for years.
Instead of just removing a food completely, find a way to switch it to a healthier alternative. That way, you still get some pleasure – the crunch, the sweetness or the creaminess that the original food gave you. But you also get a bigger nutritional bang for your buck.
For some switch ideas, see my previous articles like Easy Food Swaps – Sugar Edition or The Easy Food Swaps To Boost Your Nutrition.
Choose foods you enjoy
Another common mistake people make when eating healthier or going on a ‘diet’ is that they start eating foods they don’t like.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for giving foods a go, especially if you haven’t tried them for years. But if you have tried kale 10 different ways and you still hate it? Don’t eat it! Find an alternative green leafy that you do enjoy.
The key to making healthy eating your default is to make it a lifestyle, not a life sentence. If you hate the foods you’re eating, you’ll give up eventually and go back to your old habits. But if you’re eating healthy foods that you enjoy, you’re on your way to forming a life-long healthy habit.
Get to the root of any mindset issues
When it comes to food choices, your mindset is always the number one factor to look at.
We are all emotional eaters at some point in time. But if you’re choosing to eat healthier foods out of guilt, shame or anger at yourself, you’re setting yourself up for failure, falling off the wagon and the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.
If you choose to eat healthier foods because you want to nourish your body and feel happy and energised, you’re more likely to stick to those choices long-term.
If food is making you feel guilty, stressed or ashamed, I’m here to help! Click here to book in for a free 15 minute chat.